New to me 1983 Dakota

Long story but having it delivered hopefully this weekend


  • Ok, now I want to hear the story ;) Where are you relocating it from and to?

    Eric Panning
    1981 Seneca III
    Hillsboro, OR (KHIO)

  • I’m still a student pilot. My instructor and I were going to go to Ft. Lauderdale and fly it home to South Dakota. The timing didn’t work out and for multiple reasons outside my control I’m hiring a pilot to bring it to me. Aircraft spent its life in Illinois, Colorado and California but was taken to Florida to be sold.

  • I have been there trying to juggle instructors, maint shops, dealers, weather and my schedule. Sometimes you can push and pull to make it work and other times it all falls apart.

    As you build hours for your license and enter the cross country phase of learning I would highly recommend taking an extended cross country with your instructor - maybe even as far as Florida or perhaps the gulf coast.

    You will have the ground speed so that this is not unreasonable and plenty of storage space for gear. It is a great introduction to the business of flying too. You will experience different airports and build confidence in using your skills to land at new places. Fantastic for learning how to assess weather and making calls on diverting or continuing.

    So many pilots learn in small trainers and have scant cross country experience when they get their license. Often they have the capability but lack the confidence or experience to be comfortable. You can also have pilots who are over confident based on 1000 landings at their home field and can get in to trouble when away.

    Have a wonderful time completing your license and keep us updated on your progress with the flying and the plane. I am sure you are bummed you can't join on the cross country flight back but I think you will enjoy and appreciate it more once you have more hours in your Dakota. Those first hours with a new plane are often spent scanning up/down/left/right trying to soak in what is normal.

    Eric Panning
    1981 Seneca III
    Hillsboro, OR (KHIO)

  • Thanks for all the input and suggestions. I have a great instructor here and I have a set of unique circumstances that I am comfortable with flying in about a 300 mile radius right now and I will expand my comfort zone as I build my hours and once my license is attained. At this point with the delays getting the airplane delivered I just wanna get it here so I can fly with my current instructor And continue my education.


    Wow, that is a beautiful bird!

    As usual, empannin's advice is right on. You will really hone your airmanship skills when you begin traveling long distances, talking to ATC, chasing VOR needles, following magenta lines, learning to pick up weather along the way, etc. The more airports you fly in/out of, the more experience and confidence you'll gain. Fly into airports with right hand traffic, towered airports, and even grass strips (if you wish) to get a feel for all of them. Avoid water landings. :)

    This will sound old school, but learn to fly the plane with the minimum amount of electronics and gadgets. If your plane is equipped with steam gauges, learn them before you use the GPS. Learn to perform weight and balance on paper, learn the E6B (yes they still work!), and learn to plot flights on paper charts. That way, if a GPS, electronic instrument, etc., fails, you'll already have the skill set to maintain safe flight. Paper charts will never go black screen on you, or have batteries run out mid-flight (but they are getting harder to find). Once you have the basics down, then transition to the electronics and GPS. They are incredible pieces of technology.

    I'll occasionally go up, shut off all the electronics, and fly just to keep my "non GPS" skills sharp. I have 2 GPS's, and as unbelievable as it sounds, I've had both fail at the same time. Since I stay current flying without them, it was no problem. I even had time to troubleshoot and reboot them.

    If you need any advice about flying or with your airplane, drop a note here on the forum. As you've already found out, people here are very willing to help.

    Jim "Doc Griff" Griffin
    PA28 - 161
    Chicago area

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